A Brighter Future in Jarabulus North Aleppo
Syria’s Arab Spring, in March 2011 was seen as an “awakening” as Syrians found their voices and broke the silence. They emerged from over 40 years where walls had ears and a corrupt cruel dictatorship had prevailed.
Today, 6 years later, in March 2017, in Jarabulus, in northern Aleppo, on the banks of the Euphrates, a “renaissance” is slowly taking form – a grassroots civil society where Syrians are once again taking their lives back into their own hands rebuilding a society of their choice based on human rights for all.
Not a single family has been spared the terrible suffering inflicted on them for 6 years by Bashar al Assad’s regime and his Russian and Iranian allies.
A New Project for Women in Jarabulus
Yet, four friends with no previous experience in educational training but a strong desire to do something for their fellow Syrians, have put together an educational program exclusively for women in Jarabulus at the Ihsan Women’s Centre.
Their aim is to offer a training course in sewing, nursing, literacy courses and a language education project which will allow the women to become autonomous and no longer rely on others.
Setting up the School
The original idea came from a friend in Turkey and was received with enthusiasm in Jarabulus. He sent 10 sewing machines and thus the project was launched.
The first task, finding a suitable location in war torn Jarabulus, proved rather difficult but overcome after a few days….
The next task was repairing and preparing the rooms……
and installing the sewing machines and other educational material….
Recruiting and Enrolling
It was then time to recruit four women teachers for the different subjects and finding “pupils”. As of today, the four teachers have been recruited and pupils are signing up for this new undertaking. All the teachers are women so the women pupils will feel less stressed and more at ease.
As the young director is from nearby Manbij, he is entitled to aid from the Manbij Civil Council. The Manbij Civil Council is situated in Jarabulus for the moment as long as Manbij remains “occupied” where it provides help to Manbij citizens. The Council has agreed to help financing the project although it required a great deal of patience. Further funding to pay the teachers’ salaries and other expenses is required and should be provided eventually by another organisation. Fortunately, water and electricity are provided free.
Finding a Name
As for the name of his project, he didn’t hesitate a minute. When he was still living in Manbij, he recalled a group that helped people called “Ihsan.” Ihsan is an Arabic term meaning “perfection” or “excellence” – it implies “a sense of social responsibility borne from religious convictions – doing good things to people and benefit them”. How appropriate in this context for the Ihsan Center for Women in Jarabulus.
We can only wish good luck to the Ihsan Women’s Center, to its teachers and pupils and, of course, to the team that made it possible.